Physicists — Favorite candidate ToEs?

I’m just curious to hear from physicists of any flavor which “Theory of Everything” seems to tug at your gut the strongest, and why.

Or do you feel the ongoing, open attempt to combine the quantum world and Relatively a wild goose chase; a seamed veneer to some deeper fundamental we’re not yet quite seeing?

Also, do you feel the wild cards of dark matter/energy are an indication that we might be way off the mark, too early to say, actually supportive of unification, etc.?

Finally, any other comments on the areas you find intriguing or compelling about any theories you find convincing (or not even necessarily convincing, but at least interesting) would be most welcome.

There is a theory, as put forth by the great Douglas Adams, that if anyone ever actually discovers what the universe is for and how it came to exist, it will immediately be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory that this has already happened.

I’m very much intrigued by friend Garrett Lisi’s ToE. I admit I can’t follow all the math, but he seems to make some plausible arguments to back up his theory. Here’s his TED talk from 2008.

Every time any physicist (or even any ignoramic lay person for that matter) comes to any decision point in considering what to think about any Theory of Everything, the Universe immediately splits into two separate Universae, each having one of the alternatives as its true ToE.

Wow, he’s your friend? Not surprising I guess since he’s an avid surfer/snowboarder. :wink:

I’ve seen his TED talk a few times and have skimmed what I could on his E8 theory. I have to say, as a layman, and one who has a much easier time visualizing these concepts more than juggling the math behind it, it’s a very elegant and compelling model, if not my favorite one. I’m really rooting for it, if such a thing is possible as far as theoretical physics go.

IIRC, there was some supersymmetry problems and/or incompleteness with fermion generations or something, which still needed to be worked out, but his model predicts other particles, and it’s not as far reaching and out there as string theory; actually I find it far more attractive over the standard model (despite the unsolved gaps).

I’m interested if his thery has made any headway over the last few years (and also how other physicists perceive the finer points of this model).

My nipples did kinda tingle, as soon as I hit “Post New Thread.”

I am too, in part because I also have always found string theory to be a desperate grasping at straws; Garrett’s ToE is fairly simple and elegant comparatively.

Yeah, there were some questions that others brought up over the incomplete parts, but IIRC Garrett’s position was that the underlying logic was sound and those parts would essentially fill themselves in eventually. He updated his paper in 2010 (you can download a PDF here); here’s an article about it. I don’t think he’s ever claimed that the theory is 100% complete; AFAIK it’s still a work in progress and will be for some time. Still, I think it shows real promise, and I hope that other people who can understand the math will start looking at it and checking his work.

Here’s the wiki article on his theory, which is known as “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything” or just E8 for shorthand. It’s a pretty well-written article (if you’re into reading about theoretical physics, I mean).